12 Juicy Picks for True Detective Season Three


We’ve assembled twelve possible actors for True Detective season three.

Even though we don’t know all that much about True Detective season three just yet, there are a few things that we can take for granted. We know that season three will be a new storyline in a new setting, and we also know that it will star an entirely new cast. In the past, True Detective has attracted some major talent, such as Matthew McConaughey and Rachel McAdams.

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There’s no reason to expect that to change for True Detective season three. It’s with that thought in mind that we bring you twelve choice picks for True Detective season three. Some of our choices will appear more likely to happen than others, but that’s what a dream cast list is all about, right?

If we didn’t cover one of your favorites, tell us about it. Maybe they just weren’t good enough to make the cut.

We joke. Probably.

1. Jake Gyllenhaal

There was a time, long ago now, when suggesting someone like Jake Gyllenhaal for a show like True Detective would have been akin to casting Vince Vaughn. That’s not the case anymore, and Gyllenhaal would now fit True Detective like a glove.

Those on the fence just need to watch him in movies like Nightcrawler, Prisoners or Southpaw.

At this point in his career, True Detective would make sense. His star is high enough for him to be considered, and his willingness to go all-out for his roles could be a serious asset. Plus, just look at that face. He wants it, you know he does.

2. Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon is an interesting case. He’s starred in indie drama films such as Take Shelter, Revolutionary Road, and Mud. Oh, and he also played the sociopathic villain Zod in Man of Steel. So there’s that. Shannon has a certain uneasy intensity to him that makes him difficult to look away from.

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He also performed a set of Smiths covers one time, because he’s awesome.

Shannon also has experience in television, specifically with HBO from working on Boardwalk Empire, so there’s some precedence for him doing television. According to IMDB, he has thirteen projects in the pipeline. He’s not exactly one to sit still, so whether or not he’d be willing to settle down for a few months to do True Detective is another question.

3. Elizabeth Olsen

The Marvel universe is vast and ever-expanding. It’s not too farfetched to think that soon, most of the Hollywood elite will have some connection to a superhero movie. It’s certainly true for Elizabeth Olsen, who appeared as Scarlet Witch in The Avengers: Age of Ultron and will re-prise the roll in Captain America: Civil War.

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Her resume, however, is just as varied as Michael Shannon’s, though it’s been rather action-heavy as of late. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — True Detective welcomes all.

Olsen has what it takes for a lead role, something she unfortunately hasn’t gotten all that many of. She would have to leave her superhero powers on the sidelines, but we don’t think that would be much of an issue.

4. Kelly Macdonald 

Kelly Macdonald needs to be seen more. She starred alongside Michael Shannon in Boardwalk Empire, but hasn’t been up to much since. She brings a certain soft-spoken quality to her roles but still manages to light a fire.

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Also, her accent is simply fantastic. In fact, people would more likely be familiar with her voice than anything else, as she voiced Merida in Brave.

According to IMDB, her only confirmed work for 2016 is Ricky Gervais’ Special Corispondnets, which has already shot. She could carry a lead role in True Detective in an entirely different way than Rachel McAdams did in season two.

5. Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin was practically made for True Detective, and every season that goes by without him feels like something of a wasted opportunity. He has experience with the kind of noir that True Detective likes to dabble in from films like No Country For Old Men and Inherent Vice. The man looks and talks like a True Detective creation. Just look at this jawline.

Like many other actors on this list, Brolin is also tied up with Marvel. He plays Thanos, the intergalactic superpower that could be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy and will play a huge role in the upcoming Avengers films.

Whether or not he’d be receptive to television is anyone’s guess, but the right material just might be enough to motivate him.

6. Chloë Sevigny

Chloë Sevigny is an actor that many people will recognize, while at the same time may may not. She doesn’t have a huge amount of star power, but she is considered a fashion icon. Her roles have been all over the place, from a recurring spot on The Mindy Project to the harrowing 1990’s independent film, Kids.

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She hasn’t had much experience with a project like True Detective, but that hasn’t stopped many of the other actors that have appeared in the show so far. Indie film junkies may recognize Sevigny from American Psycho and The Last Days of Disco, both of which feature fantastic performances.

Her quiet intensity would go a long way in True Detective, and maybe her high-profile gig in America Horror Story: Hotel will help seal the deal.

7. Ray Winestone

Ray Winestone is no stranger to gangster movies. He arguably starred in one of the greatest independent gangster movies of all time, Sexy Beast. He also had a role in The Departed, Martin Scorsese’s re-imagining of the Korean film Infernal Affairs. He has a voice like gravel that would fit just about any character that True Detective season three could possibly throw his way.

Like Chloë Sevigny, he can’t exactly be considered A-list. That may keep him from being a lead in season three, but he could show up as a sort of advisor or some other smaller role. Those who need convincing should check out Sexy Beast.

After that, there couldn’t possibly be an argument that he’s not True Detective material.

8. Kate Mara

We’re ready to see Kate Mara take the spotlight. Netflix users would most likely know Mara best as Zoe Barnes in House of Cards, but it doesn’t feel that Mara has gotten the attention that she deserves. Most recently she can be seen in The Martian and The Fantastic Four, but all those do is make it more obvious that she needs to be on True Detective.

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Take the above picture, for example. As Zoe Barnes, Mara pulled threads on various mysteries in a way not un-like a noir.  In fact, the transition form House of Cards to True Detective wouldn’t be all that great. Even though she will be appearing in Fantastic Four 2 — if it ever comes to fruition — perhaps a stop over at True Detective wouldn’t be out of order considering the first movie’s reception.

9. Claire Danes

Let’s get this out of the way: there’s just about no way that this is going to happen. Homeland doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, not to mention that it’s on a different network. Still, one can hope and dream. In Homeland, Claire Danes has proved herself as an intense, dramatic, action heroine.

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Those are all traits that would do very well in True Detective.

Danes could easily take a lead role in True Detective. In fact, in a hypothetical season in which she would appear, it would be best if there were less lead roles to go around so there would be more focus on her. If you haven’t watched her work in Homeland, you’re missing out. The close we’ll probably get to seeing her in True Detective while Homeland is still on is skipping the Homeland intro and pretending it’s an episode of True Detective with a touch of international incident.

10. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt was originally rumored to appear in an earlier season of True Detective. Since then, he’s been impossible to get out of our heads. He has been in almost every genre that one can conceive, so we don’t really need to get into the specifics of his filmography here.

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The above photo is from Se7en, in case you’re curious.

Brad Pitt’s versatility as an actor and mega star-power both make him an obvious choice for True Detective. Unfortunately, he isn’t exactly known as a television actor. Maybe a prestige project such as True Detective would be enough to spark his interest. Having him on board would be a huge catch, arguably making him the biggest star to appear on the show. Why not dream big?

11. Tatiana Maslany

The Orphan Black star has been having a good year. The BBC America production was finally nominated for an Emmy this year, which was a huge get even though it didn’t win. That’s a lot farther than Hannibal, another critical darling, ever got.

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Plus Orphan Black is still on the air, so there’s that. On Orphan Black, Maslany plays a number of clones, making her one of the most interesting actors currently working.

Maslany has proved time and time again that she’s capable of handling herself in a lead role, so there’s not really any question as to whether or not she could carry True Detective. She could, and it would be fantastic. The odds? Well, there’s not great. But considering True Detective’s anthogy format, getting her for a few months to shoot a single season may not be impossible. In case she looks familiar outside of Orphan Black, she did have a guest star role on the tragically snubbed Parks and Recreation.

12. Hugh Dancy

Let’s get this out of the way upfront: Hannibal was one of the greatest crime dramas on television, and will most likely stand as the best interpretation of Thomas Harris’ work. Unfortunately, nobody watched it and it was canceled. Such is life. That might actually work out in our favor here. Now that Hannibal is over, Dancy could conceivably be picked up by True Detective.

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As seriously troubled detective Will Grahm, Dancy brought a sinister fragility to Hannibal and served as the perfect foil for the titular character.

Almost at the moment that Hannibal received the axe Dancy moved onto another series, The Path, which is currently in pre-production. Screw it, he could do both. Dancy is married to Claire Danes, who also features on this list. True Detective could bring the two of them together. It has always been a show for lovers, hasn’t it?

Next: How will HBO differentiate True Detective season three from season two?